Merchants Earns Upgrade of Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating from AM Best

June 5, 2023

AM Best upgraded Merchants Bonding Company’s Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating (Long-Term ICR) to “a+” (Excellent) from “a” (Excellent) and affirmed Merchants’ Financial Strength Rating (FSR) of A (Excellent). Merchants' Financial Size Category (FSC) is now IX. 

According to AM Best, the upgrade reflects Merchants’ “long history of profitable operating performance, largely driven by strong underwriting results and growing investment earnings.”  A company’s Long-Term ICR is based on four components: balance sheet strength, business profile, enterprise risk management, and operating performance.

Driving the Rating

Merchants' CFO Elisabeth Sandersfeld says the company’s operating performance is the real driver behind the upgrade. “Operating performance is defined by profitability driven by underwriting results. We’ve generated consistently positive results due to the profitable growth initiatives we’ve implemented over the last few years, and we continue on this path.”  AM Best expects Merchants' underwriting will "remain profitable as volatility of key metrics is anticipated to remain low."  Merchants’ strong surplus position and its expertise, stemming from a surety-only focus, also positively impacted the rating.

Financial Strength Indicator

“AM Best ratings are a critically important measure of the financial strength of an organization” says Merchants’ President and Chairman of the Board Larry Taylor “and we are so pleased to have our efforts acknowledged and strategies confirmed.”  

Click here for the full assessment of Merchants Bonding Company by AM Best. 

Read the AM Best Official News Release on